the sound of silence

I’ve heard tell that the ‘the sound of silence is deafening.’ It didn’t used to be for me. The sound of silence to me once included being in a barn, alone after hours, listening to the horses munch their hay and slap water around their buckets. It used to mean not so much silence, but the sound of the world as it slowly turned :: birds would chirp and dogs would bark and leaves would rattle and shake in mild wind. It wasn’t really silence at all; it was more or less, ‘the sound of life.’ It did not include cell phones & their various vibrations and dings nor did it include things like facebook (which I have) and twitter (which I do not have) and other things that fall into that rather tragic realm we like to call “being connected” (a.k.a. “living”) these days.

These days, I can’t sit in silence. This is not meant to be morbid, but merely observational. I find myself pacing if I don’t have a podcast, movie, or music in the background to fill that (which I have so suddenly considered) to the a “void” in the last few years. Funny how that occurs; one day you’re content with nothing and the next day you’re entirely discontent wit that nothing and must fill it with something.

As some, if not most, of you know already, I entered the ‘hab in the middle of March (literally, the 15th) of last year (2013). I’m talking rehab, that is. We’re now nearing the end of June and start of July (2014) (thus, well over a year later) and to say that my life has turned a near 180 would likely be the understatement of the year (though, once one has reached a 180, one only begins to return back towards where they started; I’m going to go ahead and ignore that at present since ‘math’ was never a subject I took much interest in and I’m sure that you, my dear readers, understand what I mean).

Beginning in 2008, I began abusing prescription drugs (thanks to a bad fall off my old horse, ‘Mr. Bigs’ a.k.a. ‘Corvester’),which left me with a nasty fracture in my left clavicle. The break was in the socket of my shoulder :: making it that much more debilitating. This afforded me a ‘script for 30 Percocet (I hardly think that that word deserves capitalization considering what a powerful and powerfully addictive drug it is and how many lives it has very likely ruined). By the middle of the month of May, a mere 2 weeks after the injury occurred, I was already not only heavily desiring more, but also seeing a surgeon to assess whether or not I needed to go under the knife.

I prayed that I did. I prayed since that would only mean I’d be administered more painkillers. To my dismay, I didn’t need surgery; however, I knew that I felt I “needed” more Percocet. I whined and winced about the severe pain that I was actually no longer having, & “scored” a ‘script for 30 more pills. At this point ? I was off and running. Painkillers, by the way, do not kill internal pain (which I, at the time, thought they would).

I stole pills. I manipulated. I lied about pain and other things. I was working fulltime, usually high as a kite. I somewhat pretended that I had some side business I was “working” on a business of design, painting, illustration, & the like. Lying because it made me sound like a more productive member of society. I was rail thin, drinking like a fish, and doing my best to acquire more pills. I sought out doctor after doctor. I complained about symptoms that I didn’t have just in order to be given a ‘script. Opiates were probably my “favorite,” but to be honest ? If it came in an orange pill bottle (benzos, amphetamines, muscle relaxants, etc.) :: I took it. And I took it with rather copious amounts of alcohol (the clear stuff like :: white wine, gin, & vodka). I was unafraid of death entirely (and kinda looked forward to it) and merely looked to find/seek relief from the internal pain that I was feeling at the time and apparently :: had been feeling for years.

So, on the 15th of March, 2013 :: I entered rehab at approximately 4:15pm.

I was terrified. I was scared of my freedom being taken away and far more scared of my drugs being taken away.. for good. Most people who enter rehab undergo a ‘Medical Detox,’ wherein you are placed in a room (likely alone), to endure the effects of coming off whatever substance(s) you’ve been abusing. The nurses, only feet away, would/should administer what they can to make the entire process far less painful and so on/so forth. It takes approximately 72 hours (3 days) for your body to spew out the chemicals inside & begin the healing process. The body is a magical machine, to say the very least, & I feel blessed for my own body each and every day.

It is also claimed, scientifically, that it will take at least 90 days for your brain to completely repair itself due to the damage you’ve done to it.

So, 3 days is considered the “normal” detox period. I spent 7 days in detox. Now, this isn’t some weird contest per who spent more time detoxing; but rather, an honest-to-God account as to how filled with chemicals I truly was. I was coming off :: Alcohol, Vicodine, Benzodiazepines, Percocet, Muscle Relaxants, Amphetamines, & Cocaine. I lay in a pool of my own sweat and, twice, urine. The thought of showering was a nightmare. I could barely walk or eat for roughly 7 days. My ownly “excursions” consisted of wandering (carefully) to the smoke pit to have a cigarette; one I never enjoyed, but merely needed since I, too, was addicted to nicotine (and still am). During those early days :: I was nicknamed “Kenny” (from South Park) since (aside from my converse & baggy pants) I wore a couple of thick hooded sweatshirts that I’d keep ‘hood up,’ a scarf wrapped tightly ‘round my neck covering my face (lowered only to take a drag from my smoke), and a pair of big dark black sunglasses to shield myself from any ounce of sunlight that may want to permeate me. I spoke little and gazed around myself :: the setting was beautiful, but at that time? I was unable to appreciate it.

I had several panic attacks. I was miserable and regretful at first. I was placed on sleep medication (due to my insomnia – which continues to this day), and brought food & liquids around the clock :: which I could barely eat, only serving to make me feel even more disabled than I felt I already was.

I stayed there for six weeks and was only a week shy of 7 months sober when I relapsed on not only pills, but also Cocaine and Heroine. May this be a “to continued” story since A. it’s long enough as is & B. I’m spent.

That’s all I can give at this moment in time, but I will end this entry with the following ::

IF YOU NEED HELP, GET HELP. Don’t hesitate to reach out. There’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. Getting help is the best thing you can do for YOU.

Every single person I have met throughout this process has one thing in common (aside from their drug abuse) :: they are Good Fucking People. They care for other people more than they care for themselves. They want nothing else than to see all of humanity happy, healthy, and full of joy. So, if you or someone you know suspects that they are suffering ? Do NOT be afraid to receive or offer the help that they so greatly and likely need.




Filed under Year of the Pig Studio // San Francisco, CA

4 responses to “the sound of silence

  1. Insanely well-written: Poignant, honest, disgusting, beautiful, vile, destructive – how life tends to be from time to time. I fucking ADMIRE this, Kujo! I can relate in so many ways in fucking sickening. Carry on!!! ;)

  2. windsong13

    I remember the first day and every day since.

  3. Awesome…raw, honest and heartfelt…I might add, courageous.

    • Thank you, Melanie !
      It’s a shame that addiction is such a taboo topic … I strongly believe in being an open book about it because I really hope that one day the world can discuss it like they discuss the weather, and if in the process, by sharing my experience can help just one person on this planet, I’ll die happy. :)
      ! cheers xxx !

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